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What Can I Do?

ETSU Sustainability

Green Team
What is a Green Team?

Green Teams are informal groups that meet regularly to educate themselves and their colleagues about sustainability. This can be as simple as getting together to discuss observations. Teams can choose one or two annual goals or divide up members to tackle dozens of issues in a short period of time. Green Teams address problems by:

  • Using signs, challenges, presentation/events to educate colleagues about sustainability issues
  • Creating office policies and ensuring compliance with existing university policies
  • Managing funds for office sustainability initiatives
  • Sustainability is about collaborative decision-making and creating viable solutions to problems that people sometimes don't realize exist.


If your office is thinking about starting a Green Team or already has a similar group, be sure to register your team with our office by sending an e-mail to Registering will connect your Green Team with the resources and experiences of other Green Teams and allow our office to share your victories across campus.
Some examples Include:


  • Does the office use only paper made with post-consumer (recycled) content?
  • Are office communications and publications done electronically where possible?
  • Are online surveys or forms used instead of paperwork? Do staff members know how to use these tools

Energy Conservation

  • Is someone responsible for turning lights off at the end of the day?
  • Does the office use laptops instead of desktop computers (Laptops use 1/6th the power!)
  • Have all employees optimized the power management settings to "sleep" or shutdown when not in use?
  • Is there agreement about thermostat range, use of personal heaters/fans, and casual dress on hot days?

Green Purchasing

  • Has the office identified wasteful items and suggested sustainable alternatives (e.g. instead of continually buying disposable cups, we could buy locally made artisan mugs for everyone)
  • Does the office routinely purchase item(s) that are delivered with excess packaging?

Recycling/Waste Reduction

  • Does staff make appropriate use of recycling containers in the area?
  • Could everyone in the office estimate how much trash is thrown out and what items are thrown out most often?
  • Is recycling encouraged at all office functions? Is there enough compostable waste to warrant a compost bin?


  • Do office managers encourage telecommuting, carpooling and use of public transportation for commuting?
  • Do office computers have teleconferencing capabilities to reduce intercampus travel for meetings?
  • Does the office have an annual, monthly or weekly alternative transportation day (e.g. telecommuting Mondays, ride your bike to work week, flex hours when gas prices rise above $3/gal)


How to Get Started

Email us at . Let us know the name of your department or group and a tentative meeting date or timeframe that would work for those who would like to be involved. One of our employees will meet with you to help you decide what you might want to do to enhance the sustainable qualities of your office or workspace.

During the meeting, your group will go over the Environmental Sustainability Checklist with help from our staff.

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